Coronavirus Information and Update: Spring 2021 Plans

February 04, 2021

Study Indian Law Remotely This Summer at Lewis & Clark Law School

The Indian Law Program at Lewis & Clark Law School will be offering summer courses via remote learning for the first time during Summer 2021.

The Indian Law Program at Lewis & Clark Law School will be offering summer courses via remote learning for the first time during Summer 2021. Law students from any accredited law school will have the opportunity to learn from top Indian Law experts around the country via classes conducted through Zoom. Registration for summer classes begins in February and the add/drop period ends on May 31, 2021. Summer classes are available for academic credit to Lewis & Clark law students, visiting law students, and for auditing by attorneys and non-law students.

Students will have the opportunity to take summer courses from some of the leading scholars and practitioners in the Indian law field today: Yale Law Professor Gerald Torres, Arizona State University Law Professor Bob Miller, attorney Cheryl Fairbanks, and attorney Sheldon Spotted Elk.

Professor Torres will be teaching Themes in Sovereignty class during the first summer session (June 1-July 6). This class will focus on specific topics surrounding tribal self-governance, including federalism and Indian law, economic development and taxation in Indian country, criminal law enforcement in Indian country, state and tribal relations, and environmental regulation in Indian country.

Professor Miller will be teaching International Law and American Indians during the second summer session (July 12-19). This course gives students an opportunity to learn about how international law, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, is being applied to American Indians.

Fairbanks and Spotted Elk will be co-teaching Family Law in Indian Country (July 20-August 2). This course will examine Indian Child Welfare matters, including the analysis of federal policies and the impact on Indian families and communities; the ICWA and tribal, state, and federal law. Students will also discuss strategies and innovations to address contemporary issues in the application of Federal Indian law.

Professors:

Professor Gerald Torres, Yale School of Law, is a pioneer in environmental law and his past work has examined how U.S. regulations have created racially or ethnically marginalized communities that bear a disproportionate share of environmental burdens. Torres’ has focused on developing strategies to improve governmental decision making. He is also a leading scholar in critical race theory — a theoretical framework that examines questions of race and racism from a legal standpoint.

Professor Robert Miller (Eastern Shawnee Tribe) is on the faculty of Arizona State University School of Law, is the Interim Chief Justice for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe Court of Appeals, and sits as a judge for other tribes. His areas of expertise include Federal Indian Law, American Indians and international law, American Indian economic development, and Native American natural resources. He was on the faculty of Lewis & Clark Law School from 1999-2013.

Attorney Sheldon Spotted Elk (Northern Cheyenne) is the program director at the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ). Spotted Elk is a frequent speaker about Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) regulations and the rights of Indian Children. Before joining Casey Family Programs, Spotted Elk was a guardian ad litem representing the best interests of children in matters for the Ute Indian Tribal Court in Utah, and was chief of staff for the Ute Indian Tribe.

Attorney Cheryl Fairbanks (Tlingit-Tsimpshian) is a Senior Policy Advisor for the Native American Budget and Policy Institute. She works in the area of Indian Child Welfare and tribal courts, specializing in peacemaking and appellate work. She was instrumental in the development of a tribal alliance for peace circles including developing a curriculum for the implementation of tribal peacemaking and family conferencing using traditional concepts of justice.

Dr. Carma Corcoran (Chippewa-Cree) is the director of the Indian Law Program at Lewis & Clark Law School. Her PhD dissertation,“The Juxtaposition of Gentle Action Theory and Traditional Ways of Knowing and Being: In the Provision of Services to Native American Women Experiencing Incarceration”, explored the issue of Incarceration and Native American Women. She currently serves on the boards of The Women’s Justice Project, The Law Enforcement Contacts Policy & Data Review Committee (LECC), and Transforming Justice for Victims and Survivors through Victim Assistance and Restorative Justice Partnerships.

Lewis & Clark’s Indian Law Program summer classes are available for academic credit to Lewis & Clark law students, visiting law students, and for auditing by attorneys and non-law students. Auditors not receiving a certificate, alumni, and government or nonprofit employees receive tuition discounts. Information on tuition rates and registering for the summer program is available on the Law School Registrar’s website.